The EU, After Decades of Planning, Has Formed its Own Military

Photo: blogs.lse.ac.uk

By Mike Robinson
Editor UK Column.org

Nov. 13 was an “historic” day, according to European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini. That day, she got her military, her single-point military budget, and her ability to prosecute wars overseas without the need to get the approval of national electorates.

She also got improved military mobility (just a coincidence that NATO was asking for this at the same time), control of civilian crisis management, the common financing of military missions and operations, responsibility for cyber defence and capacity-building in support of security and development.

She got these things because the foreign ministers from 23 [EU] member states signed a joint notification on the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) at a ceremony in Brussels the morning of Nov. 13.

The member states who signed the joint notification are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. It is possible for other member states to join at a later stage.

This last point is key. When the European Commission was considering how they would achieve their goals for military union, they had two options that they could have pursued: Permanent Structured Cooperation, or a Schengen-style treaty.

They chose PESCO because unlike the Schengen option, it leaves the door open for others to join later. This dealt with concerns expressed by some of a “two speed” EU, and also the thorny issue of the UK’s future relationship as the largest contributor to the European Defence Agency.

CONTINUED . . . . .  To read the rest of this article, go to https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/eu-has-its-military

TO READ A FULL TIME LINE OF THE FORMATION OF THE EU’S MILITARY, which dates back to 1984, go to this link: https://www.ukcolumn.org/series/eu-military-unification